Markets & Stores

Sure Sign of Spring: PDX Farmers Market Report

Kate | Apr 2, 200507:04 PM     6

The Farmers Market at PSU opened today, the weather was gorgeous, it was a blast. Here are some top picks:

Chocolate – Sahagun, hands down. I LOVE the new Stumptown coffee lolly-choc. Hair Bender is my favorite coffee in the world – the best espresso flavored truffle I have EVER eaten. The caramels were all sold out by the time I got there. Hey, and what’s up with the woman calling herself Alma Chocolates? Are those chocolates in the shape of religious icons? I don’t really get it. Sampled the pistachio toffee; not bad, but not Sahagun, either.

Produce – Oregon-grown artichokes. Artichokes are the best vegetable in the world, without a doubt. But they’re so damn expensive in the grocery stores. These are a bargain - $1.50 for the “jumbo”, and big bags of minis go for $4.00. I have yet to see how the flavor is, but the globe I bought feels pretty hefty, which I’m hoping indicates that it’s chock-full of luscious artichoke-y goodness.

Bread – Pearl Bakery wins me over yet again. The “pain biologique aux noisettes”, a hazelnut panini in a rustic levain dough made with a bit of whole wheat and rye is scrumptious. Fressen, the German bakery, was selling stuff too (I've also seen their rolls at Peoples Co-Op, and the Stumptown Cafe on SE Division). I honestly didn’t think much of them. Pretty bland. And I really don’t see why every one is so down on Baker & Spice. They’re not half-bad. But I didn’t try any of their pastry (their use of Vermont maple syrup does make this Vermont-born girl smile, though).

Cheese – Ohmigosh, Willamette Valley Creamery’s Boorenkaas is one of the best goudas you will find anywhere. I eat a lot of gouda, both Dutch and domestic (grandmother’s from Holland), and this is right up among my very favorites. More than holds its own against imported cheeses. Raw milk recipe enriched with extra cream, aged to a perfect tang, gorgeous creamy-crumbly texture.

Other stuff – I love that guy who sells home-brewed sodas. The birch beer is so yummy. And the spruce beer is totally intense, like the gin of the soft drink world. Glass bottle of soda and a Slice of plain-cheese Hot Lips pizza (which is pretty damn good, as much as we like to complain about how deficient West Coast pizza is) is a classic Long Island lunch through the lens of Portland-yuppie-dom. What fun.

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